In my post entitled, ‘Who’s In Charge Here?‘, we began to look at the truth that God, in His Sovereignty, has put us as believers in charge of things on this planet. I want to develop this further now, and look more at the authority that is ours in the Name of Jesus.
There was no authority in what they were saying.
Let’s begin by looking at the power and authority that is in the Name of Jesus. Firstly, we need to be clear that the power is not in the word ‘Jesus’. In some countries today, Jesus is a normal name. For those of us in the West, the name Jesus is simply the Greek translation of the Hebrew name Joshua. It is not the word itself that carries the power – the power and authority comes when you actually believe in the power and authority of the person behind the Name. Acts 19:13-16 gives an example of some Jews who tried to use the Name of Jesus, without actually believing in Jesus Himself.
“Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth. And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so. And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye? And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.”
Why didn’t their use of the Name of Jesus work? It didn’t work because there was no authority in what they were saying. They thought that the Name of Jesus was like some sort of magic word – they were wrong!.
We have received the name of Jesus and have every right to use it.
So how much authority is there in the Name of Jesus? Just how much power does it actually carry? Philippians 2:9-10 says, “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth“. From these verses alone, it is abundantly clear that the authority, the power, in the Name of Jesus is unsurpassed. But how does that affect us, if at all? Do we really have the right to use that Name? Well, the Bible says that we are ambassadors for Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20). If someone is an ambassador for the British Government in another country, they are not operating in their own name, they are acting under the authority of the name of Queen Elizabeth II or Her Majesty’s Government. In the same way, as an ambassador for Christ, we have every right to use the Name of Jesus and get the same results that we would expect Him to get. Ephesians 3:14-15 shows that it goes even further than just using the Name of Jesus as ambassadors, “For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named“. Just as a married woman has received the name of her husband and has every right to use it, we have received the name of Jesus and have every right to use it. We are not just ambassadors working for God, we are part of God’s family. We are ambassadors for God in the same way that Prince Charles is an ambassador for his mother, The Queen.
He gave His disciples a list.
What sort of things can we use the Name of Jesus for then? Well, after Jesus had risen from the dead, He gave His disciples a list of some of the things that believers would be able to do in His Name (Mark 16:17-18):
- Cast out devils
- Speak with new tongues
- Take up serpents
- Drink deadly substances without being hurt
- Lay hands on the sick and the sick will recover
He told them to pray to the Father in His name.
Another occasion when Jesus gave instructions on how to use His name, was in John 15:16, “Whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you“. Jesus was detailing how to pray – notice that He didn’t tell His disciples to pray to Him. He told them to pray to the Father in His (Jesus’) name. To be clear, this is not to say that we cannot talk to Jesus in prayer. Certainly we can, and should, be thanking Him, praising Him and just generally talking with Him. But when we pray for something, the prayer should be to the Father, in the Name of Jesus. This same instruction was given in the preceding chapter, John 14:13-14, “Whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it“.
Peter used the Name of Jesus in the way that Jesus had instructed him to.
The disciples paid close attention to what Jesus had told them about using His Name and there is an example of how they put His words into practice in Acts chapter 3. In this account Peter and John were on their way to the temple, when they came across a man at the gate of the temple that was called ‘The Beautiful Gate‘. This man, who was in his forties, had never been able to walk and relied on begging to survive. The man looked at Peter and John, thinking that maybe they would give him some money. Instead, Peter said to him, “Silver and gold have I none…..” (verse 6). Now before I continue, let me add a side point here – you cannot use this verse to prove that Peter and John didn’t have any money. It simply means that they did not have money on them. To imply anything else is making assumptions that cannot be proved. Anyway, Peter continued, “….but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk“. Peter used the Name of Jesus in the way that Jesus had instructed him to. He expected results and he got them, “And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God” (verses 7-8). Some people have claimed that the reason that Peter and John could do this, is because they were apostles and that this power is not available to us today. Even at the time that it happened, the people were looking at Peter and John as though they were something special. But Peter denied this saying, “Why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk?…..And his (Jesus’) name through faith in his name hath made this man strong” (verses 12-16). The miracle that occurred had nothing to do with Peter and John being apostles, and everything to do with them using the Name of Jesus in faith.
Even before Jesus had died and rose again, and therefore before the disciples were born again, they were experiencing amazing results. In Luke 10:17 they said to Jesus, “Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name“. If we will speak the Name of Jesus in faith we can expect to see exactly the same sort of results.
If you have any further questions or thoughts, please feel free to leave a comment.
If you have never received Jesus as your Lord & Saviour, if you have gone away from God, or if you have any doubts regarding your salvation. I encourage you to click on the link below. Clicking on the link will not secure your salvation, but praying the prayer you find, from your heart, will.
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